A sailor reflecting on the Greek Limnos ship ramming and significantly damaging the Turkish Navy’s Kemal Reis flagship on August 12, when the latter violated Greece’s territorial waters, said that “we gave the Turks a lesson in seamanship.”
“We gave the Turks a lesson in seamanship,” boasted Andreas Stefanopoulos, a reservist in the Greek Navy, reported The Economist.
The 177-year-old London-based economics magazine said that there was a “jingoistic mood that swept Athens after a collision in the eastern Mediterranean on August 12th, in which a newish Turkish frigate suffered visible damage while a 40-year-old Greek one was apparently unharmed, is yet to fade.”
Morale in the armed forces is “the highest I’ve ever seen. The navy and air force are both raring to take on the Turks,” a former Greek defence minister declared, the British magazine reported.
However, The Economist downplays Greece’s naval capabilities, saying that it “has pockets of naval excellence,” omitting that the Greeks have thousands of years of seamanship excellence, and that the modern Greek Navy since its creation in 1821 has never lost a battle.
The British magazine quotes Dr. Emmanuel Karagiannis, an international relations and defence studies professor at King’s College London, as saying that although the Greek Navy has “considerable firepower” in the Aegean, it “lacks the means to project power in the deep waters of the eastern Mediterranean.”
However, an important point to note is that Greece is not a country that wishes to project power in the region like Turkey, which is now embroiled in the Syrian and Libyan wars, and rather its focus is on its defence.
Turkey’s aggression this summer against Greece proved that the Greek Navy is more than capable of defending the country.
None-the-less, it is proven beyond doubt now that the morale of the Greek military is in high spirits despite the daily provocations made by Turkey, especially considering its Kemal Reis flagship was outperformed by a 40-year-old Greek vessel on the verge of retirement.